Wicca: What's the Fascination?
By Belinda Elliott
CBN.com Senior Producer
Wicca is now the fastest growing religion in America according to recent studies. What do Wiccans really believe, and what do people find to be so attractive about the religion? Author Marla Alupoaicei set out to answer these questions in Generation Hex: The Subtle Dangers of Wicca, a book she co-authored with Dillon Burroughs.
As she interviewed a number of Wiccans, Alupoaicei found that there are many misconceptions about the religion. Perhaps one of the most widespread is the belief that Wiccans worship the devil. This isn’t true, the author says.
“In fact, they don’t even believe in Satan at all because he is part of the Christian tradition,” she says. “We learn about Satan in the Bible. If you don’t believe the Bible, then you don’t believe that Satan is real. They believe that evil exists in the world but only as a part of the human spirit and that we can become more good or less good on somewhat of a sliding scale.”
Another misconception about Wiccans is that they are dangerous people. Alupoaicei says she was warned by friends when she began writing the book, that it could put her in danger. She quickly found that was not the case.
“They are very peaceful people,” the author says. “It’s a very positive religion in some ways. They believe in creation care. They care deeply for the earth. They love animals. They don’t sacrifice animals, which is another stereotype that people have. Their purpose mainly is to harness the positive energy of the universe and use that to create a positive effect in their own life and in the lives of the people that they care about.”
She says that as she and Burroughs began writing the book, they wanted to be careful how they went about it. Their purpose was not to disparage Wiccans, but to help Christians understand what they believe so they could better relate to them.
“There are many books out there that just say, ‘Witchcraft is wrong; here is why.’ We wanted to speak the truth about what the Bible says, but create more of an open dialogue with people involved with Wicca. We wanted to represent them accurately,” the author says.
She says that it is very important to remember that as Christians we should be reaching out to unbelievers with love, not attacking them.
“We’re in a spiritual battle, but it’s against Satan. It’s against powers and principalities; it’s not against people,” she says. “I believe over time the Christian church has believed the myth that our battle is against people, that’s it’s against people who don’t believe in God. Instead, we are supposed to be befriending and helping them come to faith and sharing the gospel with everyone in the world. We should be loving people and drawing them in rather than cutting them out.”
In fact, in many instances it is because they haven’t been able to find what they need from traditional churches that some people have turned to Wicca in the first place, the author says.
“When people turn to Wicca they feel like that they are getting a positive supernatural experience. What they want is an emotional experience,” she says. “Until the church wakes up and realizes that what we have is so much more powerful of an experience and more supernatural, until we start showing that to people, they are going to continue to choose Wicca and other alternative religions over Christianity”
Women and teens especially seem to be attracted to Wicca, she says, because of the amount of “power” the religion promises. Learning to cast spells gives them the feeling that they can control the people who may have authority over them.
Many women also seem attracted to Wicca’s notion that men and women are equal. They do not adhere to a patriarchal structure like many of them perceive the Bible to be based on. A woman can become a high priestess in the church just as a man can become a high priest, the author says. The religion is also very open to people with alternative lifestyles such as homosexuals and bisexuals.
Many of the people that Alupoaicei interviewed for the book had also experienced a lot of pain in their lives before turning to Wicca.
“There was some kind of defining moment that was very difficult for them emotionally,” she says. “When they are at that stage, they are more open to trying something else to find an answer. So if rather than someone telling them about the Gospel, someone told them about Wicca, it opened the door for that person to get involved with it.”
Since many Wiccans already feel persecuted either by the Church or by people who don’t agree with their beliefs, how can Christians reach out to them? Alupoaicei says the best thing to do is to listen to them and don’t be afraid to let them ask questions about the Christian faith.
“There are several people I interviewed who I still haven’t fully shared my full testimony with because I can tell it’s not the right time. That’s too much for that person right now, and I don’t want to dump too much on them and they slam the door. It’s a process.”
She also says it is important to understand what Wiccans believe and how those ideas are not compatible with the Bible. “There are many teachers in our culture saying that they do mesh and they are compatible,” she says.
An illustration of this can be found in what some call “Christian Wicca,” in which Wiccans mix teachings from the Bible with their Wiccan beliefs. Christians need to know biblical principles in order explain why the two are so vastly different.
Alupoaicei says she hopes her book will help Christians do that. By pointing out the stereotypes about Wiccans and people involved in New Age spirituality, she hopes to break down the walls that exist between Christians and nonbelievers.
“I also hope that they will have a renewed vision and passion for reaching out to people who are lost whether they are Wiccans, witches, New Agers, pagans, or in any other belief system,” the author says. “I hope that they will rekindle that passion for reaching out to the lost and being loving to these people instead of shutting them out.”
For more information on Wiccans and what they believe, check out Generation Hex.
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